I didn’t know the first thing about Lorde, but I’m now informed that she’s pretty big in her homeland of New Zealand and appears to be breaking some walls down with the US audience too. It’s also quite surprising that someone with a voice as mature-sounding as this is only 16 years old. Born in ’96. That makes me feel incredibly strange.
The original’s a rather minimal, sparsely-populated effort- The Weeknd and his team have kept the original’s natural atmosphere, and added a slightly darker, more atmospheric aspect to it via varying pitches of synth and a reinforced percussion that moves the track along as a more engaging pace. Vocally, The Weeknd’s contributions are primarily melodic adlibs and backing vocals, most notably around the middle third of the track, and though I’m in agreement with those who would have preferred a verse from The Weeknd, it’s also fair to say that this style of production doesn’t necessarily play to this strengths in terms of it being a very pop-heavy style, as opposed to his more familiar dark R&B angle. Nothing I’m going to revisit anytime soon, and something the grown-ups can probably skip, but the mainstream heads might find a place for it in their libraries alongside the original.